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November 04 , 2010

Daniels Plays: 2

Gut Girls; Beside Herself; Head-rot Holiday; Madness of Esme and Shaz


Sarah Daniels is "a writer with a natural talent for disturbance" (Observer)

Set in the gutting sheds of the slaughterhouse at the Cattle Market in late Victorian Deptford, The Gut Girls shows how the lives of the girls are changed when their work is made illegal - "Regarded as little better than whores by their contemporaries the gut girls are...a boisterous, beer-swilling, strong-minded bunch, handy with a knife both in the gutting shed and outside it, defiantly independent in attitude and scornful of the illusion of male supremacy." Malcolm Hay (Time Out). Beside Herself is the first of three plays in this volume that deal with women and madness - "a dramatic analogue of a contemporary social tragedy which exists on a scale we are only just beginning to comprehend" (Observer); Head-Rot Holiday commissioned by Clean Break theatre company for ex-offenders, portrays the fate of women detained in special hospitals, a euphemism for an institution for the "criminally insane" - "There is a fine, hard humour, as well as compassion, in the way Head-Rot Holdiay examines the contradictions entangling these women's lives"; The Madness of Esmé and Shaz is "A weird and wondrous black comedy." (Spectator)

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